Barbara Perez presented a paper on literature and finance at the EACLALS Conference. The conference, occurring April 14-18, 2014, had papers and panels on the theme of Uncommon Wealths: Riches and Realities. The following is Perez's abstract of her paper.
How the Representation of the Banking Industry in Literature Affects Twenty-First Century Perception
Shakespeare wrote "neither a borrower or lender be; for loan oft loses itself and friend". In spite of Polonius's advice to his son in the play Hamlet, lending is an important aspect of economic success for any civilization or country. The rise of the banking industry has assisted in both the growth of businesses and the individual in the abilities to purchase products or service on credit. However, in the current economic recession bank has become a four letter word. How did this bastion of business become such a pariah? My paper will present a survey of how banking has been portrayed in specific works of literature that affects current perceptions of the banking industry. Among the literary works cited will be the Bible, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, and Upton Sinclair. In addition, analysis will also include the money and economic theorists such as John Maynard Keynes, Joseph Schumpeter, and Mikhail Rostovzeff.
Keynote speakers and invited writers included Shirley Chew, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Terry Eagleton, Hiromi Goto, Abir Hamdar, Dennis Haskell, Gail Jones, Tabish Khair, Neil Lazarus, Daniel Massa, John McLeod, Kei Miller, Felix Mitterer, Priya Sarukkai Chabria, Kim Scott, Stephen Slemon, Stephanos Stephanides, Helen Tiffin, and Thomas Wharton.